Written: 9.20.07 Acquired: 2.26.06 Status: Cart only Price: $2.25
It's hard to believe the Street Fighter brand has been around now for over 20 years. But it wasn't until the sequel's release in March 1991 that would forever change the course of video game history. Sweeping coast to coast like a blistering tornado, swooping up everyone ruthlessly in its path, Street Fighter II took the video game world by storm. Gamers cutting classes, thousands of quarters disposed and endless lines -- all just another day at the office for Capcom's epochal once in a generation masterpiece
And here's to 20 more
It was more than just a video game. It was nothing short of a phenomenon. And for many, it became a way of life -- embedded in our culture. Never before did a game offer the endless combinations that Street Fighter II presented. In every pizza parlor, arcade hall, 7-11, anywhere you could imagine -- you were bound to find an arcade cab, as well as a line of eager game players. Capcom had truly created a monster
You know you've really made it when you're on the cover of snacks!
8 warriors spanning the globe, each with their own special moves, six buttons of varying speed and strength, unique quarter motions requiring some degree of skill, combo's; it was lightning in a bottle
Any gamer who lived through '91 probably has a fond story or two to share regarding SFII. Here's mine:
Sometime in early-mid '91, my dad took me, my brother Kevin and his friends to a 7-11. I'd never yet played SFII you understand, but my bro and his friends had. Well, I was only 7 and a half years old at the time, and Mike, my brother's friend, challenged me to a duel. Ahh, Mike was a classic dude. He was this 10 year old cocky big punk who acted tougher than he really was. Anyhow, I selected Dhalsim as my first character ever. I don't know why but I'm drawn to oddballs and freaks [Nah, way too easy -Ed.] Mike was trash talking as usual. I could not pull off one special move, hell I didn't know how! But that didn't matter, for you see, Mike had NO answer for Dhalsim's long limbs. I ended up perfect-ing him two rounds straight!
My bro and his friends started out on Mike's side. After all, they were a pretty close-knit group of friends. After Round 1, they jumped ship. And after my 2nd consecutive perfect on Mike, my bro and his friends had an absolute FIELD DAY on poor ole Mike! He was spitting excuses out of his ass while I stood there with the fattest grin on my face. I became the man of the hour, and Mike was never going to live this moment down, ever. I knew then and there Street Fighter II was no ordinary game
My bro, his friends and I used to frequent a card shop, TRIPLE PLAY, on a bi-weekly basis. My bro would get 2 bucks to spend, and a dollar for me. I'd spend that dollar on a 12-card pack of Marvel '91 trading card series. My brother would as well, and use the dollar he had left on the Street Fighter II cab. My brother Kevin would occasionally spare me one quarter (what a great older brother, eh?) but most of the times I just stood by, happily checking out my new Marvel cards, as well as the on-screen madness
And as the 8-bit Nintendo was making its final push in the US, word broke out about a SUPER Nintendo. A machine that promised to break all the boundaries of modern technology and bring home never-before-seen gameplay. Later that year the SNES launched and quality software like Super Mario World, Contra III: Alien Wars and The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past proved most critics wrong -- the Super Nintendo was no fly-by-night hype job
However, as great as those titles were, and as much as they contributed to the ascension of the Super Nintendo... it was Street Fighter II that, to me, etched the system's fame in granite
I'll never forget that Summer night in '92... counting down the seconds til my brother and mom, who left to Sears Funtronics, would come home
So it lost the fancy little intro. So what! We felt like we had the arcade in our living room!
My bro even went out and bought this guide. I still have it, of course it's a bit beat up but it still works like a charm. Like GamePro or not, the guide itself was amazingly well done!
RYU DOB: 7.21.64 5'10" 150 lbs
The main character in the franchise, Ryu is the most commonly used combatant. A master of the Shotokan martial art, Ryu lives for the fight and only the fight
Duke it out on the Dojo Rooftop. Only the privileged few ever see this arena
Arguably the most iconic move in fighting game history
And perhaps the most mispronounced move!
The classic double axe kick is simple yet downright deadly
"SHO-RYU-KEN!" One of the most iconic moves ever
KEN DOB: 2.14.65 5'10" 169 lbs
Friend and foe of Ryu's, Ken is the more flamboyant of the two. He knows every move that Ryu knows. But unlike Ryu, Ken knows there is more to life than just the fight. In battle he is often times more reckless and has a higher propensity to show off. Will arrogance be his downfall?
Ken loves having an audience, and this cruise liner provides him with just that. Storage barrels line the battle field and break if hit violently
Through years of rigorous workout's, Ken discovered a way to launch a fireball from the palm of his hands. Either that, or he peeked over the shoulder of Ryu
His Hurricane Kick packs a wallop when administered in succession
OUCH! The Dragon Punch packs a punch![Clean out your desk NOW -Ed.]
Even a simple throw is made flashy... this screen-rattling toss is satisfying
E. HONDA DOB: 11.3.60 6'2" 304 lbs
Edmond entered the tournament to prove the validity of sumo wrestling to the world. A winner of the "Yokozuna" title, he's quicker than he looks, and is a formidable foe indeed
A well-polished ring is kept ready for combat, sumo or street fighting. He forbids spectators to enter and ruin his concentration. Between battles, Honda likes to cool off in his hot tub
Honda's double knee bash is like being whacked by a tree limb!
Never judge a book by its cover. Here Ken is about experience a nutcracker of a reality check....
... yowzer! Honda's Sumo Head Butt hits hard and fast
The Hundred Hand Bitch Slap is capable of dizzying opponents in the blink of an eye
CHUN LI DOB: 3.1.68 5'8" None of your damn business!
The so-called "Strongest Woman in the World" entered the tourney in hopes of avenging her father's death, who she believes is on the head of a mysterious crime lord named M. Bison
In a quaint Chinese village there lies a small but bustling market. As is their custom, many pass by riding bicycles, and a man in the background is preparing a chicken to be sold to customers
Defying gravity, Chun Li flips upside down and spins around like a top
Though difficult to nail skilled opponents with, hey at least it looks cool
Using her grace and agility, Chun Li's head stomp can give opponents a headache in more ways than one!
On characters without an anti-air deterrent, the head stomp can quickly lead to frustration
And we all know, street fighting rule #7: He who is flustered, is flushed
The Lightning Kick causes a blue blur and possibly even a black eye or two
BLANKA DOB: 2.12.66 6'5" 218 lbs
For years, the natives have reported seeing a half-man, half-beast roaming in the rain forests. The creature became something of a "Brazilian Boogeyman." Only recently has he fled the comforts of the vast rain forest to show the world he has no equal in combat
After hiding in seclusion for years in the Brazilian rain forests, the natives are shocked to see the beast in the light of day, and so they snap photos to prove his existence
Blanka can hurl himself at opponents like a pinball... a 218 pound pinball!
The velocity is tremendous, and upon impact deals 17% damage. However, should Blanka be injured during his Rolling Attack, he'll take double the damage!
See what happens when your best friend is an electric eel? Don't ever say Blanka doesn't have an electrifying personality!
[I thought I told you to clean out your desk?!?! -Ed.]
This bloody feast does a potential 25% damage. BON APPETIT!
Blanka's double knee inflicts 20% damage...
... While his double head-butt only 13% -- what a rip-off, eh?!
GUILE DOB: 12.23.60 6'1" 191 lbs
During a special mission in Thailand, Guile and his best pal Charlie were captured by a tyrant named M. Bison. The crime lord took the life of ole Charlie, and ever since Guile has been out for blood... Bison blood. Using a unique blend of Special Forces training and street fighting skills, Guile is one of the most beloved characters of all time. Jen Seng, if you're out there, holla!
His air combat buddies relax from recent missions and cheer him on to victory. During heated contests, boxes of supplies can be broken by flying bodies
"SONIC BOOM!" One of my favorite moves of all time
Another fan favorite, who doesn't love the Flash Kick? Well, I guess Ryu here, for one! Never before has a move been more aptly named
Right up there with Shoryuken...
And who could forget Guile's classic double roundhouse sweep? If at first you don't succeed...
... Then try again! It can leave you quite vulnerable, however
His german suplex shakes the ground and cracks the back of his victim! Takes a quarter of their life away, too
ZANGIEF DOB: 6.1.56 7'0" 256 lbs
The strong man of the tournament, this Russian wrestler fights bears for fun, fer cryin' out loud! Suffice to say, a measly fireball or torpedo attack strikes fear in him not. Man of 1,000 holds, he has in his claim the most devastating move in the game: The Spinning Pile Driver!
Zangief works long hours six days a week at this heavy-industry factory in Mother Russia. On breaks, he takes on all comers. His comrades cheer him on from the sidelines
Here it is...
The Spinning Pile Driver!
His Spinning Clothesline allows him to safely evade projectiles
It can also serve as an offensive weapon, as Ken is about to find out
Rumor has it... Zangief took this move right out of the play book of one, Mike Haggar
Ahhh, my first choice. This freakshow and I bonded from the get-go. Though strangely, we have nothing in common. [Riiiiiight -Ed.] Hey I guess opposites attract! Dhalsim is incredibly flexible and over the course of his long life has sought to unify his mind, body and soul through the discipline of Yoga
Dhalsim loves to meditate inside this indoor temple and stretch, pardon the pun, to gear up for battle. He's proud of the rich wall tapestry and finely-crafted architecture
His greatest asset are his extendable limbs
Somewhere right now, Mike's rolling over in his grave...
Momma said use your head! This double decker is sweet
Or if you prefer, use THEIR head! The Yoga Nugie is classic
Wanna blow off some steam? Yoga Fire's ripe for the occasion
By tapping mystical energies from deep within himself, or at least, that double taco supreme deluxe the night before, Dhalsim can spew forth this lethal flame cloud to incinerate the opposition
The Yoga Flame removes 20% off their vitality, plus you get this cool effect to boot
After defeating the seven that stand in your way, prepare to tangle with four bosses
Clockwise from upper left corner: BALROG, SAGAT, M. BISON, VEGA
Indeed, Balrog's stage was quite the sight to behold!
Ryu fails at Hide-N-Seek
It's pretty well known by now, but did you know that in Japan Balrog was really M. Bison? In the US they changed his name because M. Bison was too similar to Mike Tyson
Bison in US is known as Vega in Japan. US Vega is Balrog in Japan. Sagat was always Sagat. Bloody oath!
The Masked Ninja will climb the fence in a pinch
Chest scar courtesy of Ryu's Dragon Punch in the past tournament
Bison's sweet pre-battle ritual... good stuff
Can you withstand his dark, twisted Psycho Power?
Remember this one thing about bricks...
"Bricks don't hit back"
The second is the classic car bonus stage. Check it out:
It never gets old smashing this car into a pile of junk!
But you know what's even better? Having your friend join in! My gaming group did this back in '92 more times than I could count!
STREET FIGHTER II: THE SILLY WARRIOR
You know what this reminds me of?
What's the deal with these creepy bikers, anyhow? Innocent passer bys? Wicked Witch of the West, more like
SEND IN THE CLONES
Unless you apply the code, two players cannot select the same fighter
Press Down, R, Up, L, Y, B at the CAPCOM logo
While special moves are nice, they don't mean nearly as much as when they're linked together. 2-in-1's and combo's are the heartbeat of true master Street Fighters. It took me a while before I pulled off my very first combo. But when I did, the game's possibilities expanded tenfold and I began to develop a much deeper appreciation for the game
It was roughly 15 years ago -- I remember as though it happened last week. Late '92-ish. My bro went out with his friends one day. Alone, I popped the game in and chose Ken. I've replicated that Ken combo below for you to see, as well as other tasty combo's, tactics and techniques
An ordinary uppercut... deadly in its own right...
... But absolutely lethal when chained!
An ordinary uppercut linked into a fireball becomes extraordinary. The damage doubles, from 17 to 34%!
Dragon Punch -- 47% damage
... Standing fierce...
... Quickly cancel the animation to go into a fireball motion...
... The opponent will still be reeling from that fierce uppercut attack...
.... As you send forth your fireball...
... Ouch! Simple, yet so satisfying
Ducking fierce -- 44% damage
Standing roundhouse (double hit)
Ducking roundhouse -- 39% damage
Standing fierce 42% damage
Ducking roundhouse -- 41% damage
Throw a jab Sonic Boom
... Spinning backfist! Usually only on computer opponents though. You could also throw here to really piss them off!
Here's one of my faves, and all-around perennial fan favorite:
Jumping fierce... crouching strong...
Easy, sweet, effective
Ducking short -- 47% damage
SPINNING PILE DRIVER!
63% (!!!) damage
When up-close, use his slide to evade the Sonic Boom....
... As well as take out Guile!
Dhalsim is so skinny...
... He can go under the Hadoken as well!
Use this on fireball-happy foes to keep them honest
Here's a classic Dhalsim roundhouse fireball trap
Throw a fireball of any speed, and when they jump, knock 'em outta the sky with a round- house kick!
You can harrass opponents by throwing a jab fireball
And then quickly using a ducking fierce for an easy, almost unavoidable hit!
Jab, ducking jab, roundhouse slide
Finish the game on level 0-2, and you'll be asked to challenge a harder level
Level 3-5 presents your character's ending
If ya wanna see the names behind the game, and who doesn't, you've got to beat it on level 6 or 7
Not only do you get the lowdown on those who made it happen, you also get to watch your favorite world warriors mix it up in demo mode
Without swapping characters
Without swapping and using a continue
And should you not lose one round (on level 7, mind), then you can press start to make Chun Li say "Ya Tai!"
Let's sample just four of the eight endings...
"Now I remember why I hate flashbacks! You WILL edit that out, right?"
[You have my word.. -Ed.]
Damn all these beeeeeee-yuu-tee-ful gurls
They only wanna do ya dirt
They'll have you suicidal, suicidal, when they say it's ohhhh-ver!
"Sorry brah. You ain't the first"
"I don't believe you..."
"Better believe it... 'coz I've been with her too!"
"Why don't you ask her, then, bigshot?"
"Chun Baby, I am the only one, right?"
"What? Oh... yeah, of course you are.."
See it's very define, girl Yer one of a kind But you mush up my mind. You walk to get declined. Oh Loooooord... My baby is driving me crazy!
"Uh, excuse me, Ken?"
"What? Who are you?"
"Let's just say I've been auditioning to be the new host of CHEATERS, and I've got here in my hands proof of everyone she's been... you know"
"I'm listenin'..... who has she been with?"
You're datin' other guys
You're tellin' me lies
Oh I can't believe
What I'm seein' with my eyes
"Would you like to confront her now?"
"Dude. She's standing right here"
"Oh right. Hey, I'm new at this. So tell me, how does knowing all this make you feel?"
"Suicidal! Look, it's only a couple dozen guys... so what? Besides, that one girl encounter could work out in my favor..."
"Hold that thought, Ken... there's just one more... let's take a look at the footage..."
"Oh? You know this man? Why, I had no idea... let's keep watching.."
"I must warn you now, Ken... this gets quite graphic..."
"And then they get REALLY --"
"TURN THIS SHIT OFF NOW!!!"
"Oh, you're getting married? Then prepare to be like me. You'll be choking the chicken night and day, pal...."
Uh yeah. Let's move on..
STREET FIGHTER II MONTHLY?
The pages (and covers!) of EGM were dominated by Capcom's 2D juggernaut. Every month there was page after page of coverage. Overkill? Quite possibly, but as EGM once wrote in an editorial, you go with what sells. And did the Super NES port sell or what! Sales for the first week set new records, and it help sold Super Nintendo's by the truckload. Nearly everyone and all of their brothers were drunk with Street Fighter II fever
And as company after company set out to capture their own slice of the pie, 9 times out of 10 the clone couldn't even sniff the jock strap of the almighty SFII
It was truly a wild and exciting time
Here's an excerpt from EGM's September '92 Insert Coin, written 15 years ago....
THE STREET FIGHTER II PHENOMENON
OK, by now virtually everybody in the country has the mega-hot Street Fighter II. Judging by the hundreds of letters we have already received, player satisfaction with this prime cart is at an all-time high. The impact of this game goes beyond just the software sales. Based on the letters we have received, literally thousands have bought Super Nintendo's just to play this. SNK has just brought out a huge 87 meg fighting game called World Heroes, and we see no end in sight. How long will SFII stay popular? Most likely through the holidays. Or maybe forever. All in all, a big tip of the hat has to go to Capcom for all of the work they did in creating this phenomenon. This could be the Game of the Year!
EGM CREATES AN INTERNATIONAL MONSTER
In their April '92 issue they ran a joke about how to fight Sheng Long in the arcade. Many thought this to be real, including Hong Kong publication JADEMAN COMICS, who printed the code, and later made its way to England's GAME ZONE, who not only printed the code but updated it to work on the SNES port!
The infamous Sheng Long April Fools joke is often revered and to this day, it sticks with us still. EGM would go on to conduct annual April Fools jokes as a reader contest, but they could never quite recapture the "magic" like they did with the Sheng Long gag
Check out this blurb from Super Play:
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID
EGM: 9, 9, 10, 10 (won Game of the Year 1992)
GameFan: 88, 95, 97, 99, 100
Super Play: 94%
Really, what more can one say about what an impact this game made on the market? Yeah, there are superior ports today, naturally, but back then this was as good as it got. When my bro finally came home from Funtronics, he nearly shoved me out of the way to get to his Super Nintendo. I can remember thinking it would be a very watered down port, having seen and played the arcade quite a bit. No way the SNES could capture the essence of the arcade game, right? Next thing I knew, I was searching for the coin slot! What a summer that turned out to be. We were the kings of our neighborhood, with all our friends coming over almost every day and playing the cart til the cows came home. It was a golden age. There will never be another like it
You talk about the good old days, you're looking at it. Street Fighter II was a way of life for many young boys growing up. It was an outlet. It was a passion. And it was a revolution. Usually, one can say "Oh but you're looking back with rose-colored glasses." In this case, saying anything less, would be an injustice
I feel very fortunate, that when the Street Fighter craze went down, I was young enough to be overwhelmingly awestruck, and yet at the same time, old enough to really appreciate the magnitude of the event. Capcom hit lightning in a bottle, sparking a cross-cultural phenomenon
For every Hadoken shot 'round the world...
For every "ARE-YOU-KEN"...
And for every Flash Kick...
The Street Fighter legacy lives on
Graphics: 10 Sound: 10 Gameplay: 10 Longevity: 9
Those so-called "halcyon days of yore" -- look no further. Although software like Super Mario World, Contra III and Legend of Zelda put the Super Nintendo ON the map, to me here's the game that ETCHED it in granite.... Street Fighter II!